As I sit here and write this letter, Boot Camp has been transformed! We just finished putting up our largest Big Top tent where classes and rallies will be held during Boot Camp. Earlier in the week, we put up three more which brings our total to five Big Tops up at this time, with one more to go. The smell of tent canvas in definitely in the air! Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped us get ready for the summer ahead. Right now we have 697 registrations for our 2012 summer teams! That’s exciting.
Shawna and I will be helping to run the home office this summer, overseeing the work here. General maintenance includes mowing grass, cleaning rooms and making sure the buses are ready to pick up the teams for Debrief. We will also be keeping the inside communication going with teams overseas and concerned parents. We will be getting ready for all the teams coming back from their summer mission experiences to end the summer with Debrief. This is to help prepare them to go home and to prepare them for the trials they may face. There are only a few staff who stay to keep the base going so we appreciate your prayers.
The kids are not going on teams this year, but are looking at spending some time in Pennsylvania at Grandma and Grandpa’s which is always fun for them. They enjoy spending time with their cousins and friends from church.
As many of you know, my mother and dad went to Zimbabwe with an adult team this spring. It was their first mission trip overseas to a third-world country. They had such a good time making friends with the staff, students and orphans at the Teen Missions base. Dad helped with general maintenance on the property and mother helped with sewing school uniforms for the children. I’m sure some of you will be hearing more about their trip as they share it. Dad said, “It was good to get back on American soil again!” I know they were surely blessed.
My next out-of-country excursion will be to our northern neighbor, Canada! We have three life-size replicas of the Old Testament Tabernacle that will be going up the beginning of May; one in Wisconsin, one in South Carolina and one in Burlington, which is outside of Toronto, Ontario. It will be at Crossroads Centre (former 100 Huntley Street), for their 50th anniversary. We will have three crews leaving to put them up the first week of May. That will be fun, exciting and hard work!
As far as the kids go, Brandon finished his tennis season last week with 10 wins and 3 losses. He is getting better at his serve and his all round playing has improved. That in itself makes it more enjoyable to play. Brandon is ranked sixth out of twelve and will move up as some of the seniors will be moving on. He enjoys playing singles more than doubles and really has done well, considering he taught himself to play! Tennis has been good for his blood pressure and the doctor (who is a wonderful Christian man) is pleased and he hopes Brandon will soon come off his medicine. Darin is playing basketball in an “Upward” league sponsored by First Baptist of Merritt Island. I am the assistant coach on his team, and we are having a lot of fun and have a great group of 10 boys on our team. So far his record is 2-2 which is at the halfway mark of the season. During each practice and game there is a devotional for the kids and parents which has been a great witness as there are many non-Christians who are part of the league. He is signed up for Pop Warner football which will start in August. Pray for his heels as he has a lot of pain in them following running or long periods of walking. He went to the doctor and it may be his growth plates. We need to ice them after practices and games.
Jessie is keeping her focus on school and homework—not many activities other than that going on for her right now, except we will have another driver soon, as Jessie is working on getting her permit, too! They all are growing up so fast (too fast!). It is just so important that we take time to spend with them and teach them about life and what we learned from our parents and experiences before they go out on their own, which will be sooner than we think! Brandon will be a senior next year so pray for him that the Lord will lead him to what He has for him after high school. We are so thankful for our children and how the Lord is working in their lives.
I have not been feeling well lately and have been getting tired really quickly. I recently had blood work done which showed that my iron is extremely low. I will be having further tests done, so pray that they can find what is causing it…better yet, pray that the Lord will heal it first!
Thank you for your sacrificial support and prayers that you give us. We represent each one of you as we serve the Lord here and work with the many young people who will be coming this summer.
Prayer requests: *Darin’s heels to heal! *Brandon’s blood pressure to stay stable *Wisdom in making decisions this summer *Safety for all the summer teams *Anthony’s iron levels and testing
Anthony, Shawna, Brandon, Jessica and Darin